Circle in the Round

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Circle in the Round
Miles Davis - Circle in the Round.jpg
Compilation album by Miles Davis
Released November 1979
Recorded October 27, 1955 – January 27, 1970
Length 98:25
Label Columbia
Producer Joe McEwen and Jim Fishel
Miles Davis chronology
Dark Magus
(1977)
Circle in the Round
(1979)
Directions
(1981)

Circle in the Round is a 1979 compilation album by jazz musician Miles Davis. It compiled outtakes from sessions across fifteen years of Davis's career that, with one exception, had been previously unreleased. All of its tracks have since been made available on album reissues and posthumous box sets.

Material[edit]

"Two Bass Hit" is from a 1955 session. A 1958 re-recording was released on Milestones. "Love for Sale", previously released on a 1974 Japanese compilation, features the same lineup that would play on most of Kind of Blue. "Blues No. 2" comes from the last session that Davis and John Coltrane would record together in 1961, although Coltrane does not play on the track.

"Circle in the Round" is the first studio recording in which he departed from the acoustic quintet, and therefore marks the inception of his "electric" period. Recorded in 1967, it was the earliest released recording of Miles that featured the sound of the electric guitar (played by Joe Beck), something that would become prominent in his music over the years. Edited here by seven minutes, the full track was released on The Complete Studio Recordings of The Miles Davis Quintet 1965–1968. The first officially released Davis track with electric guitar was "Paraphernalia", from 1968's Miles in the Sky,[1] with George Benson contributing. Benson appears here on the second take of "Side Car" and "Sanctuary".

"Teo's Bag",[2] "Side Car" (both takes are released), "Splash", and "Sanctuary" come from two sessions in early 1968. "Splash" was later released on The Complete In a Silent Way Sessions, and a re-recording of "Sanctuary" in August 1969 would be the closing track on Bitches Brew.

"Guinnevere" is from the same "electric" sessions of early 1970, with sitar and tabla, which yielded "Great Expectations", "Orange Lady" and "Lonely Fire" (released on Big Fun). Like the title track, it was released here in abbreviated form, as on The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions, the track is three minutes longer.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[3]
Christgau's Record Guide B+[4]
Down Beat (1982) 4/5 stars[5]
Down Beat (1991) 3.5/5 stars[5]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 3/5 stars[6]
Q 3/5 stars[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[8]

In a contemporary review, Robert Christgau deemed the recordings on Circle in the Round "damaged goods", even though "Miles tastes better out of the can than fresh watermelon or even V.S.O.P."[4] Lester Bangs voted it as one of 1979's ten best records in his ballot for The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop poll.[9] "Although seemingly hodgepodge in arrangement, Circle in the Round is a brilliant examination of the depth of scope and range possessed by Miles Davis", Lindsay Planer later wrote in AllMusic.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks by Miles Davis except were noted

Side one

1. "Two Bass Hit" (Dizzy Gillespie, John Lewis) (10/27/1955) – 3:43 later available on reissues of 'Round About Midnight

2. "Love for Sale" (Cole Porter) (5/26/1958) – 11:52 also released on 1958 Miles

3. "Blues No. 2" (3/21/1961) – 6:51 previously unreleased. Available since 1999 on Someday My Prince Will Come

Side two

4. "Circle in the Round" (12/4/1967) – 26:17 previously unreleased. Available since 1998 on The Complete Studio Recordings of The Miles Davis Quintet 1965–1968

Side three

5. "Teo's Bag" (1/16/1968) – 5:58 previously unreleased. Available since 1998 on The Complete Studio Recordings of The Miles Davis Quintet 1965–1968

6. "Side Car I" (2/13/1968) – 5:00 previously unreleased. Available since 1998 on The Complete Studio Recordings of The Miles Davis Quintet 1965–1968

7. "Side Car II" (2/13/1968) – 3:37 previously unreleased. Available since 1998 on The Complete Studio Recordings of The Miles Davis Quintet 1965–1968

8. "Splash" (11/12/1968) – 8:33 previously unreleased. Available since 2001 on The Complete In a Silent Way Sessions

Side four

9. "Sanctuary" (Wayne Shorter) (5/2/1968) – 8:52 previously unreleased. Available since 1998 on The Complete Studio Recordings of The Miles Davis Quintet 1965–1968

10. "Guinnevere" (David Crosby) (1/27/1970) – 18:06 previously unreleased. Available since 1998 on The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions

Personnel[edit]

Recorded between October 27, 1955 and January 27, 1970.

References[edit]

  1. ^ This album was also his first to feature electric piano and bass, both on the opening track "Stuff".
  2. ^ The title is a reference to longtime Davis producer Teo Macero. Another take appears on The Complete Studio Recordings of The Miles Davis Quintet 1965–1968.
  3. ^ a b Planer, Lindsay (2011). "Circle in the Round - Miles Davis | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the '70s. Da Capo Press. p. 102. ISBN 0306804093. 
  5. ^ a b Alkyer, Frank; Enright, Ed; Koransky, Jason, eds. (2007). The Miles Davis Reader. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 275, 307. ISBN 142343076X. 
  6. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Miles Davis". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0857125958. 
  7. ^ Q: 130. December 1993. 
  8. ^ Considine, J. D. (1992). "Miles Davis". In DeCurtis, Anthony; Henke, James; George-Warren, Holly. The Rolling Stone Album Guide (3rd ed.). Random House. p. 180. ISBN 0-679-73729-4. 
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert (1980). "The Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll (Almost) Grows Up". The Village Voice. Retrieved June 26, 2016. 

External links[edit]